Summary: We don’t reverence God as we ought, when He is safely tucked inside the boxes of our understanding, our theology, our control, or in the box of our familiarity. What happens when He gets out of our box?
Encountering God – Part 8 – Awe in Worship
Last week we talked about why God’s glory or presence doesn’t show up in worship or in a gathering of His people. Some folks would notice if He wasn’t there, others would see no difference.
I talked a bit about three reasons why God’s glory departs, do you remember them? Do you still have your notes?
Lost their fear of God.
Faked their spirituality.
Ever since then, the first point has been ringing in my ears. “They lost their fear of God.”
The “fear of God” I am talking about is the awestruck reverence that one has when they comprehend God as God.
I feel as if the Holy Spirit is saying to me, and I assume to our church, that we need to recapture and have a renewed understanding of the fear of God so that we might truly encounter the One who we seek in worship.
David learns to fear God:
Last week, we learned about the event where the Ark of God was captured by the Philistines.
The Ark of the Covenant was built by Moses to symbolize the presence of God in the middle of His people. It was a 4 x 2 x 2 box covered in gold, with seraphim angels on top and a gold seat between the seraphim which symbolized the meeting place between God and man. It was on this seat, called the “mercy seat” that the blood of the atoning sacrifices was applied, thereby making it possible for sinful man to approach God. (salvation)
The Ark was a sacred object for Israel. It represented God’s presence. Last week, we learned that the people of Eli’s day (approx. 1100 BC) were trusting in the object instead of God. And when they lost the Ark in a battle, they came to the realization that they had lost the presence and glory of God from their midst. It spent just a short time with the Philistines and after a number of plagues, the Philistines sent it away on a cart led by two cows and it arrived at the house of Abinadab in Judah. It stayed there for many years, during the entire reign of King Saul, until David became king.
I want to show you how this story ends.
2 Samuel 6:1-11 Then David mobilized thirty thousand special troops. 2He led them to Baalah of Judah to bring home the Ark of God, which bears the name of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. 3They placed the Ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the hillside home of Abinadab. Uzzah and Ahio, Abinadab’s sons, were guiding the cart 4with the Ark of God on it, with Ahio walking in front. 5David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the LORD with all their might, singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals. 6But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah put out his hand to steady the Ark of God. 7Then the LORD’s anger blazed out against Uzzah for doing this, and God struck him dead beside the Ark of God. David was angry because the LORD’s anger had blazed out against Uzzah. He named that place Perez-uzzah (which means "outbreak against Uzzah"). It is still called that today. 9David was now afraid of the LORD and asked, "How can I ever bring the Ark of the LORD back into my care?" 10So David decided not to move the Ark of the LORD into the City of David. He took it instead to the home of Obed-edom of Gath. 11The Ark of the LORD remained there with the family of Obed-edom for three months, and the LORD blessed him and his entire household.
Recap: David was moving the Ark to Jerusalem. They had loaded it on a new cart, just like their enemies, the Philistines had used to send the Ark back to Israel. They were celebrating, happy, excited and worshipping exuberantly. There was just one thing wrong. They did not have a proper awe or respect for God and the objects that God called holy.
Because they were ignorant of the fact that Moses had been told by God to transport the Ark with poles that went through the rings in the sides. It was designed for the priests to carry on their shoulders, so that they would not touch it (because it was too holy too touch).
But instead, they were acting irreverently, having it move on an oxcart instead of with poles as prescribed by God. They were moving it in an oxcart like a common piece of luggage instead of on poles on their shoulders in a manner that a King would be transported.